Two Southern Cross University students have been awarded Diabetes Queensland scholarships to help health professionals care for people with diabetes.
Jennifer Garrett and Doreen Qian, both senior nurses caring for patients with diabetes, are studying the Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management. The scholarships pay for one subject each in their studies.
Ms Garrett is the chronic disease manager at the Mt Isa Super Clinic and decided to undertake the course after seeing first-hand the increase in people diagnosed with diabetes.
“As a person with a high risk of developing diabetes due to a strong family history, I’m keenly aware of the growing diabetes crisis in Australia,” Ms Garrett said.
“A 15 per cent increase in Mount Isa of people diagnosed with type two diabetes from 2013-2015 is above the national average, but I believe the number of local people with diabetes is still underestimated.”
Ms Qian said she worked in an area with a large proportion of high risk patients.
“I believe that with 280 Australians developing diabetes each day and about 1.7 million Australians already with the condition, it is the epidemic of the 21st century,” she said.
“My ambition is to significantly contribute to helping keep patients out of the hospital system through offering more effective primary care.”
Both students are studying the one-year course while continuing to work, travelling to the SCU Gold Coast campus for four intensive workshops throughout the year.
Diabetes Queensland CEO Michelle Trute said the diabetes tide could be turned if more people knew the symptoms and more health professionals had access to the latest information on diabetes treatment and research.
“If more people know about the symptoms, including thirst and slow-healing wounds, more people will check with their health professionals,” she said.
“By supporting people to undertake post graduate studies in diabetes, we hope to provide those professionals with the most effective prevention tools and treatments.”